[Review] FENIX TK65R (CREE XHP70, 3200LM Rechargeable)

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[Review] FENIX TK65R (CREE XHP70, 3200LM Rechargeable)

Battery: Owner, Included.
Modes: 7 (5 intensities and 2 stroboscopic)
Switch: Double switch, top.
Date: September 2017
Fenix · FenixLinternasRdL · ForoLinternas

Fenix has just launched this new TK65R, which, as its name suggests, is a torch of the TK family (tank name, due to the type of construction of the torch) which is also rechargeable.

The box, of large dimensions, is a briefcase type, although it is made of cardboard.

Inside, the flashlight is perfectly housed in its protective foam cutouts, a power adapter with USB cable, instruction manual and warranty documentation, spare gasket and an interesting belt holder.

The power adapter is European type, with a USB – MicroUSB cable.

Inside the flashlight there is a battery, which is insulated by means of two plastic discs.

The new TK65R is a flashlight that, although in its details evokes other Fenix models, in general lines reminds us of the classic working flashlights that used 3 batteries type D.

It is a torch of considerable dimensions, which reaches 270mm long, a maximum diameter in the optics of 61mm, 31mm diameter in the central tube and 418g in weight (642g with battery).

The optics are common with most Fenix models with similar characteristics.

Ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective treatment, rugged reflector and CREE XHP70 correctly centered, all finished off by a steel bezel with sandblasted finish.

In the neck of the lantern we will find a double push-button system, with metallic buttons that match the bezel finish. The upper one controls the strobe modes and the lower one controls the intensities. On the opposite side of the switches you will find the lantern attachment system to your belt support.

The support has a very robust appearance, with wide openings to pass the belt and the back covered with non-slip material to prevent it from moving once installed.

When we insert the flashlight into the bracket, we have a kind of hook that, loaded by a spring anchor the flashlight and this is locked in that position.

Fenix announces this type of belt holder as “Catapult Action Belt Clip”. This curious name is given by the mechanism that releases the torch, which using the spring of the “catapult” hitch, releases the torch out of its anchorage, being released to be removed manually and conveniently.

The body is finished with a knurling that resembles that of other current models of the brand, and although it does not have an aggressive touch, it greatly improves the grip of the torch. As usual, the threads are trapezoidal-cut, anodized, clean and factory greased.

The battery, ARB-L26-10000, is specified with 7.2V nominal and 5000mAh capacity. It has negative and positive contacts at both ends, so we can insert it without worrying about polarity.

Due to its dimensions, and also because of its specifications, I would say that the battery is composed of two 5000mAh series 26650 lithium-ion cells.

Unfortunately, the flashlight can only be used with its own battery. Inside we find a double pivoting contact system, insulated from each other by means of a plastic protector. At the lower end of the tailcap we have the microUSB charging port, next to a small pushbutton and four LED indicators.

The tailcap assembly design allows the torch to be placed in a stable tailstand.

Thanks to the dual switch system the TK65R has a fairly simple and easy-to-learn user interface, consisting of 5 intensities and two strobe modes.

  • On and off: Using the lower switch we will turn on the flashlight by holding it down for just over a second, and repeat the long press to turn off the flashlight.
  • Switching modes: Once switched on, simply press the lower switch to switch between the different intensities in ascending order.
  • Memory: The TK65R is equipped with mode memory, so when you turn it on it remembers which was the last mode used by turning it on directly in this one.
  • Stroboscopic Modes: Instead of having the stroboscopic modes hidden and accessible by combination of pulses, as it is a flashlight intended for a professional security/police/military environment, the TK65R has the stroboscopic modes either by hand: The upper switch controls exclusively the stroboscopic modes, and we can switch it on directly in stroboscopic 3200LM using this switch. In addition, the flashlight can be switched on in any other mode by simply pressing the upper switch to quickly access the strobe. From the strap, simply press the upper switch again to switch to SOS mode, which instead of using the maximum possible output it does so in 400LM mode.
  • Block-out: Due to the contact system that this torch uses, with both polarities at the same end of the battery, unscrewing the tailcap is only effective if we unscrew it beyond the seat of its gasket. But Fenix has implemented an electronic lock that will prevent the use of the flashlight or those who are not familiar with its operation, as well as prevent accidental ignition. To lock or unlock the flashlight, press and hold both buttons for about 5 seconds. The flashlight will emit two flashes to indicate that it has entered lock mode, as well as after any interaction with the switches.
  • Charging status indicator: Using the pushbutton on the tailcap, the flashlight will tell you the battery’s charging status using the LED indicators next to it. We can check the status with both the flashlight on and off. 4 indicators lit is between 80 and 100% of the remaining battery, three are 60-80%, two are 40-60%, one is 20-40%, and finally a single blinking indicator is less than 20%.
  • Recharge: The recharging function is quite simple: Using the included USB cable (or another one around a phone or tablet, for example) we can recharge the battery without even removing it from the inside of the flashlight. The loading process is quite fast, just over 4h. with the battery fully discharged. The LEDs on the tailcap flash and indicate approximately the status of the charging process.

(All measurements are taken following the ANSI NEMA FL1 procedure, taking as a value the highest reading point between the second 30th and 120th after switching on. More details here.)
The modes are very well distributed, covering in a staggered way between 30 and 3200 lumen. Although all modes seem to perform slightly better than the manufacturer states in their specifications, High mode seems to lag a little behind.

The modes appear to be achieved by regulated current as there is no indication of PWM, either at first glance or by using the camera.

As detailed in the instruction manual, the TK65R is equipped with thermal regulation, which controls and monitors the temperature of the flashlight reducing its output if necessary to prevent damage from overheating.

To check how this system works, I have carried out two independent tests in the sphere: The first, using a small fan that has helped to keep the temperature at a minimum during the whole test. I have done this, I have fully recharged the battery and repeated the test, this time without any further help for the flashlight than its own ability to passively exchange the heat generated by the LED with the air. The result, once captured in the graph as a blue line is quite interesting and shows how, almost uninterruptedly, the flashlight has literally been going up and down its output for almost all runtime. However, the red line that corresponds to the test with the aid of the ventilator, offers us an almost linear output for just over 30 minutes at a very high output, and then move on to a second phase of direct regulation. The flashlight does not go out, and stays in the lowest mode.

Compared to other “similar” torches, the TK65R excels in efficiency, especially considering the type of power supply it has.

This Fenix shows a multipurpose projection, although given the dimensions of its optics it is capable of optimally collimating the light generated by the enormous emitting area of the XHP70.

The projection is clean and free of any artifact that could be produced by the composite die of the XHP70. The rugged reflector creates a pleasant fusion between the hotspot and the spill.

Unfortunately, and as is customary in the latest generation CREE emitters, dyeing is one of the aspects with more room for improvement. This time the TK65R has a cool white tint with a greenish hue that predominates especially in the area surrounding the hotspot.

The more than 3200 lumen of a single LED emitter in an optics of its dimensions makes the TK65R a very versatile flashlight, with an excellent flooding and a range of 375 meters (ansi) not negligible.

Fenix is characterized by offering high quality models, and the TK65R meets what you would expect from a Fenix: proven quality for professional use, simple and robust operation.

Fenix LD75c – Fenix TK75 – Nitecore EAX – Maglite 2C (modified) – Fenix TK65R

Negative aspects: A rechargeable flashlight is always a great option for those who prefer not to mess around with chargers and batteries for convenience, but in my opinion it would have been great if the TK65R could have been powered by primary batteries, if only for emergencies. I would also have preferred a less cold dye, or better yet, Fenix offering neutral/warm light versions as an option, even if at the cost of giving up a small percentage of maximum output.

Positive aspects: The Fenix label is always synonymous with quality and professional finishing. The TK65R is no exception, and this model shows a construction quality matching that of other models in the Fenix TK series. Its user interface is very consistent with the use for which Fenix has designed this simple and straightforward flashlight, and although it is not a tactical flashlight, it is perfectly optimized for surveillance and control tasks. The belt attachment system is safe and ingenious, and provides quick access to the flashlight, which is complicated in very large torches or when it comes to flashlights as long as this one.

Fenix TK65R provided by Fenix through Spain’s dealer FenixLinternas.com for test & review. Thanks!

Edited by: UPz on 09/21/2017 - 11:05